The Same Feelings from 2008 Resurface in 2020 – How to Move Forward with Meaning
While the economic recession of 2008 and the 2020 COVID-19 crisis have very different origins, the consequences are extremely similar.
Loss of jobs, loss of livelihoods and loss of certainty.
Lynne Golodner remembers this feeling well. Lynne became a single mother of three young children at the onset of one of the worst financial crises in modern history, generating extreme uncertainty and unbridled fear.
It’s exactly how many millennials and Gen Z-ers feel today.
With the need to figure out a way to support her children, Lynne parlayed her journalistic skills into an entrepreneurial role as Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Your People LLC, providing companies and nonprofits with communications support.
During an unprecedented time in our nation’s – and the world’s – history, Lynne created a new kind of public relations/marketing company focused on the purpose and story of an organization. In doing so, she was able to provide for her children and make a meaningful impact.
The 2008 Financial Crisis
The year 2007 was “a perfect storm,” Lynne recalls. “Not only was the economy spiraling downward, the housing market was devastated, and I was getting divorced.”
With three young children – ages 1, 3, and 5 when she filed for divorce – Lynne had been a freelance journalist for a decade. Many magazines and newspapers were shuttering or no longer had freelance budgets, and her soon-to-be ex-husband was a professional musician, so there was no safety net.
“I feared I would lose the house and be out on the street. It was terrifying,” she recalls.
Building A Company During A Recession
With no other option, Lynne pushed through the fear and uncertainty. Innovation was key for continuing to work for herself and raise her children.
Lynne started Your People in 2007, amid constant doubt and fear. Even as she pressed forward and gained clients and expertise, those fears and doubts did not dissipate – not for a long while. She persevered through despite nagging thoughts of what-if.
As a single mother, she knew her new venture must succeed. There was no other option – other than moving in with her parents.
Learn more about Your People here.
The COVID-19 Crisis
Twelve years later, those familiar fearful feelings about what will happen next plague a whole new generation of Americans in 2020.
The COVID-19 pandemic has spurred the highest unemployment rates in the United States since the Great Depression. Many people are asking themselves the same questions that Lynne pondered in 2007.
Dealing With Job Loss
“My first reaction to losing my job to COVID-19 was panic.” says Kaitlin Watson a 23-year-old in Los Angeles. “When it happened abruptly, I felt so lost.”
Like Lynne, Kaitlin had to figure out a way to support herself and pay off student loans, but the sudden job loss gave her a new perspective. Kaitlin took time to assess what she wanted.
“Leaning into my more creative passions instead of shying away from them for a job that paid more gave me a sense of purpose.” She was able to parlay her writing talents and pitch herself as a columnist to Flique Editorial, where she now writes a biweekly dating column.
During times when fear abounds, it’s normal and healthy to search for solid ground. It’s also OK to yearn for meaning and turn the sudden change into a pivotal moment.
More and more, people are looking for purpose along with prosperity – despite problems caused by the pandemic.
“Losing my dream job and facing career uncertainty amidst global uncertainty was terrifying,” she says. “I was not confident that the job market would have a place for me.”
Annalise took a step back to survey her options. “It felt like there was a global pause, so I paused to think about what I really wanted, too.”
When her dream employer circled back with a new offer, she was ready for it and this time, she could confidently say it was what she wanted.
“Most graduates rush to take the first job they find, but COVID-19 gave me time to make sure that this job was going to make me happy and give me meaning,” she says.
Annalise Froelich, a recent University of Pennsylvania Graduate
Uncertainty: Then and Now
Uncertainty can cause fear to spike, making it hard to find the good in unprecedented times. Taking a step back and searching for meaning can lead you to new places that you never would have discovered.
“Not being able to see the end of the tunnel means we’re groping in the dark,” says Lynne. “But the tunnel always ends, and there is always light at the end.”
The Make Meaning Podcast
Now, more than ever, people are searching to find meaning and purpose in both their professional and personal lives. During these unprecedented times the desire to evaluate our own lives has never been stronger.
What does it actually look like to live a purpose-driven life? How do we find meaning in our careers? How do we create meaning in our day-to-day life?
The Make Meaning Podcast, with host Lynne Golodner, ponders these questions in conversation with educators, authors, entrepreneurs and leaders of some of the most inspiring, purpose-driven organizations in the world.
Join Lynne and the Make Meaning Movement with her expertise, curiosity and passion, offering a podcast, consulting workshops and retreats that invite like-minded individuals and organizations to learn how to best prioritize strategic storytelling and mutually beneficial relationships, driven by higher purpose.